Regarding the Sunday, Feb. 24, article “Cultivation solar project proposed for quarry site” in The Westerly Sun, Police Chief Shawn Lacey says he won’t approve medical marijuana cultivation due to federal law.
I sit on Westerly’s Zoning Board of Review. We heard sworn testimony last fall from state and town officials saying that though marijuana remains a Schedule I drug recreationally, state and federal governments are in legal agreement, legally bound, to allow state-regulated medical marijuana. Rhode Island, not Westerly, must regulate. Federal government has oversight. There are no liabilities to Westerly in having medical marijuana facilities that follow state regulations, regulations the federal authorities have agreed to, had to agree to, for any facilities to exist in Rhode Island.
Chief Lacey’s misgivings are, at best, misguided. If his position generates a legal challenge, he’ll have wasted our money. This is not untrodden ground.
The writer is a member of the Westerly Zoning Board of Review.